Full disclosure: I'm a fan of Pinterest. I like how accessible it is, how I'm able to neurotically organize all my pins and boards, how I get to see what my creative spirit animals post and pin, I love that I can have a mood board at my fingertips in minutes, and that I'm even able to create secret boards that I'm not yet ready to share with the world. I most like using it when talking to brides to be to get an idea of their aesthetic, and theirs of mine, and to see what level of detail they've already decided on or are still working through.
I see many brides falling into the trap of over-pinning or not editing their boards. Like all amazing things, think chocolate or expensive stationery, Pinterest is most useful when enjoyed in moderation and should not be replaced by hands-on research, or else it can actually become a compulsion that slows you down and overwhelms you more than helps you. So before you fall down the rabbit hole of spending a week's worth of work hours pinning ideas you'll never revisit, I've come up with a fun little list that I hope will help you in your planning and scavenging endeavors. Again, these are just guidelines that are meant to make you think while you're planing your wedding, or party, and even beyond (master suite remodel? amazing pantry organization project? oh and what is the best chocolate fudge brownie recipe?!)
- Organize your thoughts: to avoid a jumbled mess while you're trying to come up with color schemes and party favors, start off with an old-fashioned pen and paper check-list. Rather than having one massive board for all things wedding ( or whichever event you are planning) make a list of all the different categories you'll need inspiration or ideas for. The more detailed your initial list, the easier it will be to navigate when you need to pull up specific pins on the fly. After creating your master list make a board for each category and pin away!
- Be a follower: During this journey (that can be as much daunting as it is fun) you'll find yourself on many websites for vendors, designers, or bloggers, and instead of committing to pinning ideas before you get to investigate what they're really about, it sometimes helps to first follow them on Instagram or Pinterest to get a better sense of who they are and what they would bring to your party planning table. They'll show up in your feeds and if they're not up to snuff, or your design direction has shifted, you don't have to go back and get rid of old pins.
- Be realistic: It's easy to forget that many pins that go viral are often a product of elaborate photo-shoots that have been styled and often feature many custom designs that come with an equally high-end price-tag. Your wedding, or fancy affair should be as elaborate and special as you have always dreamed, but pinning beyond your means can sometimes lead to disappointment or a chase for that unicorn of an element that doesn't really exist. Instead, I suggest always having a plan B and C in case that gown you adore ends up being a one of a kind Marchesa. Also, you may not be able to fully duplicate a theme featured in your favorite pin, but there are always elements you can be inspired by and tweak to make your own. Often, tweaking and combining different ideas leads to a more unique and fresh result that you can then call your own!
- Descriptions are key: The more detailed you are in your descriptions, the more you'll thank yourself, and me, later. I may pin a centerpiece that has colors completely different from what you're looking for, but it may have the type of flowers and textures you love. WRITE THAT DOWN! When you're later looking through 100 pins with your florist, you'll want to be able to remember why you pinned certain things and what stood out to you at first glance. Also, Pinterest is only as good as its content, so the more people pin without descriptions or tags, the more generic the content is.
- Trust the experts: Think of Pinterest as the webmd of social media, you'd trust yourself to self diagnose some simple non-life threatening symptoms, but you wouldn't expect an online resource to interpret an Xray for you or prescribe antibiotics. Why then would you be willing to take a chance with one of the most important days of your life? It's easy to believe that everything you see on Pinterest can be diyed, and to envision yourself to be the do-it-all-bride that puts together the wedding of the century on a next to nothing budget. The closer you'll get to your wedding, the more you'll realize how exhausting and naive that assumption is. There are tons of wedding details you can take care of if you give yourself time and in return you will save a ton of money and come up with unique ideas that give your event a personal touch. And I strongly encourage doing as many of those as you can! However, remember that your friends and family are not your little wedding elves that will pull allnighters to finish your never-ending list of projects, and that your main job is to be the bride, not to coordinate your own wedding on the day of ... or deliver your own flowers or be your own DJ for that matter. A good wedding planner, a florist, photographer and caterer will be investments worth making if you want your special day to be the stress free bliss you've been pinning for months.